How Women are Taking Back the Feminine Care Aisle
- Written By:Christina Valhouli
For most women, buying feminine care products is nearly as exciting as stocking up on toilet paper or bathroom cleaner. In other words, it’s generally a ho-hum experience. Whether you bought feminine care products in 1985, 2005 or even 2015, the personal care aisle at your local drugstore probably looked pretty much the same.
But with a new wave of female owned feminine care companies disrupting the market, your shopping experience is about to look very different. Traditional brands like Playtex, Kotex and Summer’s Eve are getting competition from a slew of start-ups who don’t view feminine care as a chore or anything to be embarrassed about. They are stripping away any negative connotations, and milestones such as getting your first period as a celebrated rite of passage. They’re repositioning female care as just another aspect of self-care. This new crop of companies is switching up every aspect of feminine care, from the packaging to the ingredients. Goodbye boring boxes of panty liners and hello to vibrant packaging and organic cotton tampons, along with products formulated for the pH of a vagina.
Lauren Steinberg is the 25 year old founder of Queen V. She says she’s been around vaginas her whole life, not only because she had one, but because her father was a gynecologist. But despite having a dad who was also a gynecologist, she didn’t always feel comfortable talking about her personal issues, like her one too many yeast infections.
This battle inspired Steinberg to take a look at the products that are aimed at women. For example, the vagina has a pH of around 4-4.5 while soap has a pH of about 9, which means it is too harsh. “I was frustrated by the lack of information out there,” explains Steinberg, which led her to launch Queen V, which sells pH balanced body washes along with a probiotic.
Along with Queen V, here’s a look at six feminine care companies changing the experience and culture around female care.
Think of Athena Club as the Harry’s of feminine care products. Founded by Maria Markina, Allie Griswold, and Charles Desmarais, Athena Club is a subscription tampon delivery service. The company sells two types of tampons: 100% organic as well as a premium tampon. The tampons contain no harsh chemicals, no dyes and no additives, and the applicators are PBA free. The tampons are beautifully packaged and customers can customize their choices, choosing from a mix of light, regular, or super tampons. Frequency of delivery can also be customized.
The theory behind the new Lady Suite brand is that our faces shouldn’t get all the attention – our lady parts need some TLC too. Founder Therese Clark was inspired to create her first product when she realized her skin needed extra attention pre and post bikini laser treatment. The result is Lady Suite’s Lady Business Rejuvenating Botanical Oil, which is made for the outer parts of the vagina (a.k.a. the vulva). The oil is packed with nourishing and soothing ingredients like organic jojoba seed oil, meadow foam, carrot seed oil, tamanu oil, and eclipta prostrata extract to combat minor skin discomforts. Think of it as a rejuvenating serum for your lady parts.
The founders of LOLA like to say they have their customers covered, from their first period to their last hot flash — and beyond. LOLA was founded by Alexandra (Alex) Friedman and Jordana Kier. LOLA products cover feminine care like 100% organic tampons, pads and liners, as well as sexual wellness (condoms, lubricant, and wipes). LOLA also sells daily vitamins formulated to soothe cramps. The items are sold individually as well as in kits, and are available by subscription service.
Queen V debuted in 2018, and the regal line includes 16 different products all with vibrant packaging and fun names designed to help maintain, heal, and enjoy your vagina. The products are color coded depending on function, such as Maintain for cleansing; Enjoy for sexual wellness as well as bubble baths; and Heal for UTI prevention as well as chafing. Swipe Right Wipes are perfectly pH balanced while the Daily Dose Probiotic, packed with grapefruit and turmeric, is meant to help promote a healthy vagina by balancing yeast and bacteria while also supporting digestive, immune, and antioxidant health. The blue V Bar is infused with rosewater and aloe, and can be used on your Queen V as well as your entire body. Products are sold individually as well as in kits.
DeoDoc was created by sisters Dr. Hedieh and Hasti Asadi, who are on a mission to break taboos when it comes to talking about intimate wellness. They’ve partnered with Dr. Gunvor Ekman Ordeberg, a gynecologist, to create products that are safe and effective, as well as beautifully packaged. All of DeoDoc's products have a pH of 5, and include daily cleansers, calming oils and a cleansing oil, as well as a shave kit. The Intimate DeoWipes come in three scents - jasmine pear, coconut and violet cotton, and contain olive oil, aloe vera and vitamin E.
TV star Lo Bosworth is behind Love Wellness, a range of feminine care products that come in a rainbow of hues that are made for Instagram. But Love Wellness is more than just pretty packaging. The brand takes a holistic approach to female care, offering everything from boric acid suppositories to tackle yeast infections, to gentle personal hygiene cleansers. The pH Balancing Cleanser is formulated with aloe vera leaf juice, and a pack of Do It All Wipes contains zero harsh chemicals, perfumes, or dyes. They’re made with aloe vera extract, chamomile and coconut oil. Love Wellness also sells probiotics.